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Report: FDNY Truck Ran Light In Fatal Dongan Hills Collision

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A fire engine involved in a fatal collision with a van ran a red light, violating state law while on an emergency run, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

The accident happened at around noon Wednesday at the intersection of Richmond Road and Burgher Avenue in Dongan Hills.

The FDNY truck from Ladder 81 was heading to a car fire on the Staten Island Expressway, with its siren on moments before the crash.

Eric Perry in 2007
Eric Perry in 2007 (Photo: The Staten Island Advance/Hilton Flores)

The van then made a left from Burgher onto Richmond, witness Ali Alsaede said. The fire truck then crashed into the van's rear driver door.

Police said the van, from a nonprofit organization called Lifestyles for the Disabled, was carrying special needs adults, plus a driver and an aide. 51-year-old Special Olympian Eric Perry was killed in the crash, and two people were critically injured.

The critically injured passengers were rushed to Staten Island North Hospital. Six firefighters were hurt in the crash, as well as six civilians.

The fire engine did not come to a complete stop at a red light as required by state law, according to the Journal report. State law requires emergency vehicles to stop at red lights, even if their lights and flashing and sirens blaring.

The FDNY told the paper that after stopping, fire trucks can proceed with caution if the intersection is clear.

It was later reported that the car fire was actually an overheated car.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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